New Carver Apartments
Just south of Los Angeles’s rapidly growing downtown, the Skid Row Housing Trust’s New Carver Apartments explore how architecture can create new possibilities for a highly vulnerable and underserved population. The ninety-five units provide permanent housing for homeless elderly and disabled residents, offering a place of solace and support amidst the city’s chronic homeless problem.
The six-story form emerges from the path of the adjacent Santa Monica Freeway as it traces the site’s southern edge. Its spiraling shape encircles a private outdoor courtyard at its center, which provides each unit with natural lighting and views in all
directions. Medical and social-services facilities are located at the base of the building, and other communal spaces—kitchens, dining areas, gathering spaces, and gardens—are on the floors above as well as on street level.
The architect, Michael Maltzan, has carefully anchored the design to incorporate the outside world while offering a sanctuary for the tenants. For instance, the laundry and community room on the third floor are at the exact level of the freeway so tenants can watch the passing cars. Other common areas have sweeping views of the skyline and street, emphasizing the strong connection between exterior and interior. In the end, the New Carver Apartments provide both a democratic and architecturally inspiring answer to Maltzan’s own question, “How do buildings not shrink from their responsibility of being part of the city?”Location: united states